I did it!
The weather was hot, hot, hot. The sun relentless and the hills bigger and harder than I remembered them being. But I managed it. 5km round Verulamium Park, only breaking into a walk for a few seconds when the people in front of me slowed down at a narrowing in the path. I crossed the finishing line though and had a medal placed round my neck. Challenge complete.
The route looped round this large park and zig-zagged up the hills towards the highest point in the park. The terrain varied from short grass, to hard paths, to long grass and even mud through the wooded areas. A large part of the route was also in direct sunshine which would have been an absolute killer if it hadn’t been for a good breeze that helped to cool us all. Even still though it was hard to stay hydrated, even on such a short distance.
I was nervous about just how it would feel running in a large group of people, and also without my beloved running music. But in actual fact neither was too difficult. I did miss my music in terms of helping to set my own rhythm, but I think I managed to ignore what everyone else was doing so that it didn’t affect me too much. Luckily the route was nice and wide meaning that I didn’t really get caught up behind anyone else, nor do I think I blocked anyone else that was trying to get past me.
I managed to put on a bit of a sprint at the end, encouraged by spotting Mr C and the kids in the crowd next to the finish approach, but my chip time for the race was 32 minutes dead. I had been hoping for under 30 minutes, but to be honest with the heat today I’m pretty happy with my time. It was hard work, but I think I paced myself well and I’m really proud that I managed to keep going when I saw many others have to slow down to a walk at several points.
I am so so pleased to be able to say that to date I’ve raised amazing £360 for Save the Children. I set off with dreams of raising a hundred pounds or so, so to completely smash that target is brilliant. Thank you so much to all my family and friends (both online and in real life) who have sponsored me. I really appreciate it, and I know Save the Children do too. It’s not too late though as my sponsorship page is open for another month. It would be wonderful if I can get it up to £400…
I’m thrilled that my challenge is complete, but at the same time also a bit sad. I started off just planning to run one race and ended up doing not one, but two 5km races. I’ve amazed myself by really enjoying running. The thing that really kept me going through was actually following a programme, being able to tick something off after each run and having the race to aim towards at the end. I’m not sure that I’m someone that would keep going out if I was “just” going for a run though, so I may need to find myself a new challenge. In July I’m joining some other mums from school in walking a 10 mile midnight walk in aid of the local hospice. The big question is whether or not I sign up for another running race any time soon. To be honest I think I will, but quite what shape that challenge is going to be is something I think I’m going to sleep on for a few days. First though – time for a celebratory gin and tonic, or two!